The elite club ‘MTV Cribs to Open Door’
Photo: MTV Vault/YouTube, Architectural Digest/YouTube
Each institution has its version of elite status. Saturday Night Live has the quintuples, Keith McNally has AAA (Anna Wintour) and AA (longtime boyfriend Bill Nighy) ratings, and my high school had a separate popular kids’ dining hall called “the commons.” Today I’d like to add mine: celebrities whose houses were featured on the spectacularly unscrupulous original MTV cribs which later appeared on Architectural Summaryit is open door series, which is decidedly more whimsical if not a bit joyless.
Cradles first created in 2000 and set the standard for celebrity home visits in the new millennium: houses were almost always ugly (sorry), cameos and hammy entourages were plentiful, and there were always plenty of beige leather and cherry wood finishes. Its impact cannot be overstated: the theme for my sister’s bat mitzvah was MTV, and I was sitting at the Cradles table. open door created in 2012, with the magazine’s burst of sophistication and design spirit replacing the car shaped beds of his predecessor. The celebrities featured want you to know they have to taste, even if that taste happens to be the same kind of bland minimalism (and even if, a year later, many of those homes end up going up for sale). The famous characters presented on both, then offer us a document of transformation: a passage to adulthood, a spiritual awakening, a… hiring of Clements Design. Let’s start.
In 2004, six years before Instagram’s debut and nearly 20 years before he used the platform to send adulterous sexts to multiple women while married to Behati Prinsloo, Adam Levine opened the doors to his T2 from Los Angeles to Cradles. The house is quite empty – Levine and his roommate James Valentine claimed to have only stayed there a few nights since their world tour on the hit of She will be Loved — but some decorative instincts make themselves felt. The pair, then in their 20s, appear to have matching California kings and “jungle” print wallpaper above their beds – a very millionaire-dorm-suite vibe. Other era-appropriate flourishes include hypercolored portraits of the Beatles (Levine “loves, loves, loves” waking up every morning and “seeing his heroes”), a refrigerator stocked with nothing but Red Bull (with a separate Red Bull fridge on top), and a state-of-the-art TV setup for 2004 on which a group of friends can be seen playing Halo. (“I’m trying to create a really sick environment here,” Levine explains.) The Adam of Cradles is naïve to matters of taste and function. (He puts away a sit-up machine in the desperately empty kitchen of the house.)
The Adam of 2021, warm in the embrace of married life, parenthood and a 10-bedroom Pacific Palisades, seems to have matured. The house has some open door classics: arcade games, sneakers in display cases and interiors by Kardashian favorite Clements Design. But Levine’s tastes have matured. The kitchen features a giant waterfall-like island and is now the heart of the home: “No matter how beautiful your home is,” he says, “the kitchen is where everyone hangs out.” There are still video games, but family-friendly (“Kids…huge Mrs. Pac-Man Fans”). The dorm room is long gone with a Pettibon above the bed replacing the standard pop art. In probably the most candid moment of the series, Levine says, “This house is not for sale, so don’t even think about it…for at least a year,” while showing off his man’s paradise: rows of hoodies and T-shirts and shoes in his Kanye-inspired closet. (The house sold for 51 million just nine months after this video was posted.) Significantly, Levine barely aged between the two videos despite his lack of tattoos in his Cradles tower. Maybe it’s all sexting.
Could the Travis Barker of 2002 have predicted that he would one day be a drummer and reality TV star married to a Kardashian instead of being a drummer and reality tv star married to Shanna Moakler? Life – a crazy race. This is perhaps where the continuities end. the Cradles The tour of his Corona, Calif., home features a huge aquarium in the entryway (“I don’t really care about fish here other than Scooter”) and a man who hasn’t yet discovered veganism. The white leather sofas and DVD collection place us firmly in the early years, and his cooking is as earth-shattering as any young musician’s. (He shows a box of ketchup packets and SpaghettiOs.) Barker’s tour also includes another Cradles classic: a fully staged cameo, this time Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas in Barker’s drum room.
In 2022, the Calabasas house led by Barker’s Waldo Fernandez is almost indistinguishable from all the Kardashian-Jenner houses featured (relentlessly) on ADYouTube channel (we counted 12), but it is cohesive in its black and cream color scheme. The aquarium is gone (rest in peace, scooter) as Barker shows off his sleek, minimalist home from the Apple Store. No more ketchup packets, replaced by a matcha station (Kourtney makes an appearance, less ostentatious than the Cradles variety, praising her fiancé’s “famous matcha.) Her affinity for skeletons lives on between the houses, but is now more understated, as seen in her custom-designed skull lamp by Buster and Punch and a Kourtney Kardashian original – a plate painted at Color Me Mine.
One thing has endured over the decades: Barker’s commitment to indoor BMX riding and the aforementioned drum room. Some things never change.
Carlton is a Manhattan girl in her two Cradles start and AD tour, and unlike his comrades Cradles–AD crossovers, is in the same place for both circuits. the Cradles 2006’s Carlton shows off her (tasteful) nude art and her 14 bottles of vodka (which she respectfully attributes to her Russian heritage). By far the most charming part of the Vanessa’s Cribs tour is its entirety fear of heights about his “creepy” washer and dryer in the unit (“Having a washer and dryer room in New York is unbelievable”). Perhaps less charming but just as candid: she describes her bidet as “to wash your ass”.
At Vanessa’s AD tour in 2020, we find her again – but with bangs. The kitchen remains largely the same – kept the stainless steel, lost the dead shark in a jar – although it has improved the living room by adopting the deep section. (The nudes are gone, though.) The place is very empty, and if you’re wondering why, that’s because, as Bobby Finger pointed out last year in his own review of celebrity home visits , she was trying to praise him. The listing boasted that the piano on which she wrote “A Thousand Miles” could be included in the rental. A piece of history!
The 2003 Campbell shows off her Jamaican home (the former home of James Bond writer Ian Fleming). While Cribs felt deliberately overdone, Campbell’s vacation home holds up better than most. It’s small and cozy, and if you’ve lost the dated TV, you might mistake it for a lousy Airbnb rental. (The Bob Marley portrait only adds to that vibe.) The house is filled with vintage iron beds, handy mosquito nets, and what she calls “the best pool in the world.” (I agree, it’s a gorgeous pool.) Its octagonal bedroom (“I love octagons,” model Naomi Campbell) is lovely — I’d sleep there tonight.
Its current Kenyan resort is considerably more luxurious. The house is also designed to maximize indoor-outdoor spaces and features lots of dark antique wood (“I find wood so grounded”). She Reveals Air Conditioning Causes Wrinkles (“I Think”), And Who May Disagree Since She Looks Gorgeous 15 Years After Her Original Cradles video. Well past the seven-minute mark, Naomi decides to show off her own bedroom at her mainland resort, including massive photos of a little boy draped in red (“I love that little boy, I think he’s gorg” ) and a lion (“I like lions, I mean the lion that’s it”). is just like Naomi Campbell’s Kenyan resort.